In this, both the species derive advantageous. The two populations enter into some kind of physiological exchange. The following are some general examples of mutualism.
a) Symbiotic Nitrogen fixers:
This is a famous illustration of mutualism, where the bacterium Rhizobium form nodules in the roots of leguminous plants, and lives symbiotically with the host. The bacteria acquire food from the higher plant and in turn the fix gaseous nitrogen, making it accessible to plant.
A symbiotic relation between a fungus and a root of a higher plant is termed as Mycorrihza that might be
(i) Ectotrophic, where fungal hyphae are the natural replacement of root hairs absorbing water and nutrients from soil example: Pines and Oaks or
(ii) Endotrophic, where fungi take place internal to root tissue. Example: Orchids and members of Ericaceae
These are illustrations of mutualism where contact is close and permanent and also obligatory. Their body is made of a matrix formed by a fungus, in the cells of that an alga is embedded. Generally the fungal groups are from Ascomycetes or Busidiomycetes and the algal groups are the species of blue greens. The algal groups take up the photosynthetic function. The fungal groups are concerned with reproduction. Fungus makes moisture and also minerals available, while alga manufactures food. Neither of the two can grow up alone independently in nature. Lichens grow up abundantly on bare rock surfaces.
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